|Publication number||US7494873 B2|
|Application number||US 11/492,251|
|Publication date||Feb 24, 2009|
|Filing date||Jul 25, 2006|
|Priority date||Jul 8, 2002|
|Also published as||US7489545, US7847344, US20040004247, US20050023574, US20060258097, US20060261376|
|Publication number||11492251, 492251, US 7494873 B2, US 7494873B2, US-B2-7494873, US7494873 B2, US7494873B2|
|Inventors||Leonard Forbes, Kie Y. Ahn|
|Original Assignee||Micron Technology, Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (100), Non-Patent Citations (85), Referenced by (18), Classifications (20), Legal Events (5)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application is a divisional of U.S. application Ser. No. 10/933,050, filed Sep. 2, 2004, which is a divisional of U.S. application Ser. No. 10/190,689, filed Jul. 8, 2002, both of which are incorporated herein by reference.
This application is related to the following co-pending, commonly assigned U.S. patent applications: “Memory Utilizing Oxide Nanolaminates,” Ser. No. 10/190,717, and “Memory Utilizing Oxide-Conductor Nanolaminates,” Ser. No. 10/191,336 each of which disclosure is herein incorporated by reference.
The present invention relates generally to semiconductor integrated circuits and, more particularly, to gate structures utilizing oxide-nitride nanolaminates.
Many electronic products need various amounts of memory to store information, e.g. data. One common type of high speed, low cost memory includes dynamic random access memory (DRAM) comprised of individual DRAM cells arranged in arrays. DRAM cells include an access transistor, e.g a metal oxide semiconducting field effect transistor (MOSFET), coupled to a capacitor cell.
Another type of high speed, low cost memory includes floating gate memory cells. A conventional horizontal floating gate transistor structure includes a source region and a drain region separated by a channel region in a horizontal substrate. A floating gate is separated by a thin tunnel gate oxide. The structure is programmed by storing a charge on the floating gate. A control gate is separated from the floating gate by an intergate dielectric. A charge stored on the floating gate effects the conductivity of the cell when a read voltage potential is applied to the control gate. The state of cell can thus be determined by sensing a change in the device conductivity between the programmed and un-programmed states.
With successive generations of DRAM chips, an emphasis continues to be placed on increasing array density and maximizing chip real estate while minimizing the cost of manufacture. It is further desirable to increase array density with little or no modification of the DRAM optimized process flow.
Multilayer insulators have been previously employed in memory devices. The devices in the above references employed oxide-tungsten oxide-oxide layers. Other previously described structures described have employed charge-trapping layers implanted into graded layer insulator structures.
More recently oxide-nitride-oxide structures have been described for high density nonvolatile memories. All of these are variations on the original MNOS memory structure described by Fairchild Semiconductor in 1969 which was conceptually generalized to include trapping insulators in general for constructing memory arrays.
Studies of charge trapping in MNOS structures have also been conducted by White and others.
Some commercial and military applications utilized non-volatile MNOS memories.
However, these structures did not gain widespread acceptance and use due to their variability in characteristics and unpredictable charge trapping phenomena. They all depended upon the trapping of charge at interface states between the oxide and other insulator layers or poorly characterized charge trapping centers in the insulator layers themselves. Since the layers were deposited by CVD, they are thick, have poorly controlled thickness and large surface state charge-trapping center densities between the layers.
Thus, there is an ongoing need for improved DRAM technology compatible transistor cells. It is desirable that such transistor cells be fabricated on a DRAM chip with little or no modification of the DRAM process flow. It is further desirable that such transistor cells provide increased density and high access and read speeds.
In the following detailed description of the invention, reference is made to the accompanying drawings which form a part hereof, and in which is shown, by way of illustration, specific embodiments in which the invention may be practiced. In the drawings, like numerals describe substantially similar components throughout the several views. These embodiments are described in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention. Other embodiments may be utilized and structural, logical, and electrical changes may be made without departing from the scope of the present invention.
The terms wafer and substrate used in the following description include any structure having an exposed surface with which to form the integrated circuit (IC) structure of the invention. The term substrate is understood to include semiconductor wafers. The term substrate is also used to refer to semiconductor structures during processing, and may include other layers that have been fabricated thereupon. Both wafer and substrate include doped and undoped semiconductors, epitaxial semiconductor layers supported by a base semiconductor or insulator, as well as other semiconductor structures well known to one skilled in the art. The term conductor is understood to include semiconductors, and the term insulator is defined to include any material that is less electrically conductive than the materials referred to as conductors. The following detailed description is, therefore, not to be taken in a limiting sense, and the scope of the present invention is defined only by the appended claims, along with the full scope of equivalents to which such claims are entitled.
In conventional operation, a drain to source voltage potential (Vds) is set up between the drain region 104 and the source region 102. A voltage potential is then applied to the gate 108 via a wordline 116. Once the voltage potential applied to the gate 108 surpasses the characteristic voltage threshold (Vt) of the MOSFET a channel 106 forms in the substrate 100 between the drain region 104 and the source region 102. Formation of the channel 106 permits conduction between the drain region 104 and the source region 102, and a current signal (Ids) can be detected at the drain region 104.
In operation of the conventional MOSFET of
There are two components to the effects of stress and hot electron injection. One component includes a threshold voltage shift due to the trapped electrons and a second component includes mobility degradation due to additional scattering of carrier electrons caused by this trapped charge and additional surface states. When a conventional MOSFET degrades, or is “stressed,” over operation in the forward direction, electrons do gradually get injected and become trapped in the gate oxide near the drain. In this portion of the conventional MOSFET there is virtually no channel underneath the gate oxide. Thus the trapped charge modulates the threshold voltage and charge mobility only slightly.
One of the inventors, along with others, has previously described programmable memory devices and functions based on the reverse stressing of MOSFET's in a conventional CMOS process and technology in order to form programmable address decode and correction in the U.S. Pat. No. 6,521,950 entitled, “MOSFET Technology for Programmable Address Decode and Correction”. That disclosure, however, did not describe write once read only memory solutions, but rather address decode and correction issues. One of the inventors also describes write once read only memory cells employing charge trapping in gate insulators for conventional MOSFETs and write once read only memory employing floating gates. The same are described in co-pending, commonly assigned U.S. patent applications, entitled “Write Once Read Only Memory Employing Charge Trapping in Insulators,” Ser. No. 10/177,077 and “Write Once Read Only Memory Employing Floating Gates,” Ser. No. 10/177,083. The present application, however, describes transistor cells having oxide-nitride nanolaminate layers and used in integrated circuit device structures.
According to the teachings of the present invention, transistor cells can be programmed by operation in the reverse direction and utilizing avalanche hot electron injection to trap electrons in oxide-nitride nanolaminate layers of the transistor. When the programmed transistor is subsequently operated in the forward direction the electrons trapped in the oxide-nitride nanolaminate layers cause the channel to have a different threshold voltage. The novel programmed transistors of the present invention conduct significantly less current than conventional transistor cells which have not been programmed. These electrons will remain trapped in the oxide-nitride nanolaminate layers unless negative control gate voltages are applied. The electrons will not be removed from the oxide-nitride nanolaminate layers when positive or zero control gate voltages are applied. Erasure can be accomplished by applying negative gate voltages and/or increasing the temperature with negative gate bias applied to cause the trapped electrons in the oxide-nitride nanolaminate layers to be re-emitted back into the silicon channel of the transistor.
As stated above, transistor cell 201 illustrates an embodiment of a programmed transistor. This programmed transistor has a charge 217 trapped in potential wells in the oxide-nitride nanolaminate layers 208 formed by the different electron affinities of the insulators 208, 210 and 218. In one embodiment, the charge 217 trapped in the oxide-nitride nanolaminate layers 208 includes a trapped electron charge 217.
In one embodiment, applying a first voltage potential V1 to the drain region 204 of the transistor includes grounding the drain region 204 of the transistor as shown in
In an alternative embodiment, applying a first voltage potential V1 to the drain region 204 of the transistor includes biasing the drain region 204 of the transistor to a voltage higher than VDD. In this embodiment, applying a second voltage potential V2 to the source region 202 includes grounding the sourceline or array plate 212. A gate potential VGS is applied to the control gate 216 of the transistor. In one embodiment, the gate potential VGS includes a voltage potential which is less than the first voltage potential V1, but which is sufficient to establish conduction in the channel 206 of the transistor between the drain region 204 and the source region 202. Applying the first, second and gate potentials (V1, V2, and VGS respectively) to the transistor creates a hot electron injection into the oxide-nitride nanolaminate layers 208 of the transistor adjacent to the drain region 204. In other words, applying the first, second and gate potentials (V1, V2, and VGS respectively) provides enough energy to the charge carriers, e.g. electrons, being conducted across the channel 206 that, once the charge carriers are near the drain region 204, a number of the charge carriers get excited into the oxide-nitride nanolaminate layers 208 adjacent to the drain region 204. Here the charge carriers become trapped in potential wells in the oxide-nitride nanolaminate layers 208 formed by the different electron affinities of the insulators 208, 210 and 218, as shown in
In one embodiment of the present invention, the method is continued by subsequently operating the transistor in the forward direction in its programmed state during a read operation. Accordingly, the read operation includes grounding the source region 202 and precharging the drain region a fractional voltage of VDD. If the device is addressed by a wordline coupled to the gate, then its conductivity will be determined by the presence or absence of stored charge in the oxide-nitride nanolaminate layers 208. That is, a gate potential can be applied to the gate 216 by a wordline 220 in an effort to form a conduction channel between the source and the drain regions as done with addressing and reading conventional DRAM cells.
However, now in its programmed state, the conduction channel 206 of the transistor will have a higher voltage threshold and will not conduct.
Some of these effects have recently been described for use in a different device structure, called an NROM, for flash memories. This latter work in Israel and Germany is based on employing charge trapping in a silicon nitride layer in a non-conventional flash memory device structure. Charge trapping in silicon nitride gate insulators was the basic mechanism used in MNOS memory devices, charge trapping in aluminum oxide gates was the mechanism used in MIOS memory devices, and one of the present inventors, along with another, has previously disclosed charge trapping at isolated point defects in gate insulators. However, none of the above described references addressed forming transistor cells utilizing charge trapping in potential wells in oxide-nitride nanolaminate layers formed by the different electron affinities of the insulators.
As shown in
In embodiments of the invention, these nitride material are of the order of 4 nanometers in thickness, with a range of 1 to 10 nm. The compositions of these materials are adjusted so as that they have an electron affinity less than silicon which is 4.1 eV, resulting in a positive conduction band offset as shown in
The electron affinity of GaN is the subject of numerous reports.
AIN is a low electron affinity material. For example, UV photoemission measurements of the surface and interface properties of heteroepitaxial AlGaN on 6H—SiC grown by organometallic vapor phase epitaxy (OMVPE) show a low positive electron affinity for Al/sub 0.55/Ga/sub 0.45/N sample and GaN, whereas the AIN samples exhibited the characteristics of negative electron affinity. On the other hand, in semi-insulating and degenerate n-type GaN samples prepared by chemical vapor deposition with heat-cleaned surface the electron affinity was found to lie between 4.1 and 2.1 eV.
Assuming the electron affinity of GaN to be around 2.7 eV, the electron affinity decreases for GaAIN as the aluminum composition increases until the material becomes AIN which has a lower electron affinity of around 0.6 eV as shown in
Titanium nitride, tantalum nitride and tungsten nitride are mid-gap work function metallic conductors commonly described for use in CMOS devices.
Method of Formation
This disclosure describes the use of oxide-nitride nanolaminate layers with charge trapping in potential wells formed by the different electron affinities of the insulator layers. These layers formed by ALD are of atomic dimensions, or nanolaminates, with precisely controlled interfaces and layer thickness. Operation of the device specifically depends on and utilizes the electron affinity of the nitride layer being higher than that of silicon oxide. This creates a potential energy well in the multi-layer nanolaminate gate insulator structure.
Atomic Layer Deposition of Nitrides
Ta—N: Plasma-enhanced atomic layer deposition (PEALD) of tantalum nitride (Ta—N) thin films at a deposition temperature of 260° C. using hydrogen radicals as a reducing agent for Tertbutylimidotris(diethylamido) tantalum have been described. The PEALD yields superior Ta—N films with an electric resistivity of 400 μΩcm and no aging effect under exposure to air. The film density is higher than that of Ta—N films formed by typical ALD, in which NH3 is used instead of hydrogen radicals. In addition, the as-deposited films are not amorphous, but rather polycrystalline structure of cubit TaN. The density and crystallinity of the films increases with the pulse time of hydrogen plasma. The films are Ta—rich in composition and contain around 15 atomic % of carbon impurity. In the PEALD of Ta—N films, hydrogen radicals are used a reducing agent instead of NH3, which is used as a reactant gas in typical Ta—N ALD. Films are deposited on SiO2 (100 nm)/Si wafers at a deposition temperature of 260° C. and a deposition pressure of 133 Pa in a cold-walled reactor using (Net2)3 Ta=Nbut [tertbutylimidotris(diethylamido)tantalum, TBTDET] as a precursor of Ta. The liquid precursor is contained in a bubbler heated at 70° C. and carried by 35 sccm argon. One deposition cycle consist of an exposure to a metallorganic precursor of TBTDET, a purge period with Ar, and an exposure to hydrogen plasma, followed by another purge period with Ar. The Ar purge period 25 of 15 seconds instead between each reactant gas pulse isolates the reactant gases from each other. To ignite and maintain the hydrogen plasma synchronized with the deposition cycle, a rectangular shaped electrical power is applied between the upper and lower electrode. The showerhead for uniform distribution of the reactant gases in the reactor, capacitively coupled with an rf (13.56 MHz) plasma source operated at a power of 100 W, is used as the upper electrode. The lower electrode, on which a wafer resides, is grounded. Film thickness and morphology were analyzed by field emission scanning electron microscopy.
Ta(Al)N(C): Technical work on thin films have been studied using TaCl5 or TaBr5 and NH3 as precursors and Al(CH3)3 as an additional reducing agent. The deposition temperature is varied between 250 and 400° C. The films contained aluminum, carbon, and chlorine impurities. The chlorine content decreased drastically as the deposition temperature is increased. The film deposited at 400° C. contained less than 4 atomic % chlorine and also had the lowest resistivity, 1300 μΩcm. Five different deposition processes with the pulsing orders TaCl5—TMA—NH3, TMA—TACl5—NH3, TaBr5—NH3, TaBr5—Zn—NH3, and TaBr5—TMA—NH3 are used. TaCl5, TaBr5, and Zn are evaporated from open boats held inside the reactor. The evaporation temperatures for TaCl4, TaBr5, and Zn are 90, 140, 380° C., respectively. Ammonia is introduced into the reactor through a mass flowmeter, a needle valve, and a solenoid valve. The flow rate is adjusted to 14 sccm during a continuous flow. TMA is kept at a constant temperature of 16° C. and pulsed through the needle and solenoid valve. Pulse times are 0.5 s for TaCl5, TaBr5, NH3, and Zn whereas the pulse length of TMA is varied between 0.2 and 0.8 s. The length of the purge pulse is always 0.3 s. Nitrogen gas is used for the transportation of the precursor and as a purging gas. The flow rate of nitrogen is 400 sccm.
TiN: Atomic layer deposition (ALD) of amorphous TiN films on SiO2 between 170° C. and 210° C. has been achieved by the alternate supply of reactant sources, Ti[N(C2H5CH3)2 ]4 [tetrakis(ethylmethylamino)titanium: TEMAT] and NH3. These reactant sources are injected into the reactor in the following order: TEMAT vapor pulse, Ar gas pulse, NH3 gas pulse and Ar gas pulse. Film thickness per cycle saturated at around 1.6 monolayers per cycle with sufficient pulse times of reactant sources at 200° C. The results suggest that film thickness per cycle could exceed 1 ML/cycle in ALD, and are explained by the rechemisorption mechanism of the reactant sources. An ideal linear relationship between number of cycles and film thickness is confirmed.
TiAlN: Koo et al published paper on the study of the characteristics of TiAlN thin film deposited by atomic layer deposition method. The series of metal-Si—N barriers have high resistivity above 1000 μΩcm. They proposed another ternary diffusion barrier of TiAlN. TiAlN film exhibited a NaCl structure in spite of considerable Al contents. TiAlN films are deposited using the TiCl4 and dimethylaluminum hydride ethypiperdine (DMAH-EPP) as the titanium and aluminum precursors, respectively. TiCl4 is vaporized from the liquid at 13-15° C. and introduced into the ALD chamber, which is supplied by a bubbler using the Ar carrier gas with a flow rate of 30 sccm. The DMAH-EPP precursor is evaporated at 60° C. and introduced into the ALD chamber with the same flow rate of TiCl4. The NH3 gas is also used as a reactant gas and its flow rate is about 60 sccm. Ar purging gas is introduced for the complete separation of the source and reactant gases. TiAlN films are deposited at the temperatures between 350 and 400° C. and total pressure is kept constant to be two torr.
TiSiN: Metal-organic atomic-layer deposition (MOALD) achieves near-perfect step coverage step and control precisely the thickness and composition of grown thin films. A MOALD technique for ternary Ti—Si—N films using a sequential supply of Ti[N(CH3)2]4 [tetrakis (dimethylamido) titanium: TDMAT], silane (SiH4), and ammonia (NH3), has been developed and evaluated the Cu diffusion barrier characteristics of a 10 nm Ti—Si—N film with high-frequency C—V measurements. At 180° C. deposition temperature, silane is supplied separately in the sequence of the TDMAT pulse, silane pulse, and the ammonia pulse. The silicon content is the deposited films and the deposition thickness per cycle remained almost constant at 18 at. % and 0.22 nm/cycle, even though the silane partial pressure varied from 0.27 to 13.3 Pa. Especially, the Si content dependence is strikingly different from the conventional chemical-vapor deposition. Step coverage is approximately 100% even on the 0.3 μm diameter hole with slightly negative slope and 10:1 aspect ratio.
BN: Boron nitride has for the first time been deposited from gaseous BBr3 and NH3 by means of atomic layer deposition. The films deposited at 750° C. and total pressure of 10 torr on silica substrates showed a turbostratic with a c-axis at 0.7 nm. The film deposited at 400° C. are significantly less ordered. The film density is obtained by means of X-ray reflectivity, and it is found to be 1.65-1.7 and 1.9-1.95 g cm−3 for the films deposited at 400 and 750° C., respectively. Furthermore, the films are, regardless of deposition temperature, fully transparent and very smooth. The surface roughness is 0.2-0.5 nm as measured by optical interferometry.
Silicon Nitride: Very recently extremely thin silicon nitride high-k (k=7.2) gate dielectrics have been formed at low temperature (<550° C.) by an atomic-layer-deposition technique with subsequent NH3 annealing at 550° C. A remarkable reduction in leakage current, especially in the low dielectric voltage region, which will be operating voltage for future technologies, has made it a highly potential gate dielectric for future ultralarge-scale integrated devices. Suppressed soft breakdown events are observed in ramped voltage stressing. This suppression is thought to be due to a strengthened structure of S—N bonds and the smoothness and uniformity at the poly-Si/ALD-silicon-nitride interface. The wafers are cleaned with a NH4OH:H2O2:H2O=0.15:3:7 solution at 80° C. for 10 min and terminated with hydrogen in 0.5% HF solution to suppress the native oxidation. The silicon-nitride gate dielectrics are deposited by alternately supplying SiCl4 and NH3 gases. The SiCl4 exposure at 340-375° C. followed by NH3 exposure at 550° C is cyclically repeated 20 times. The gas pressure of SiCl4 and NH3 during the deposition is 170 and 300 Torr, respectively. Just after the ALD, NIH3 annealing is carried out for 90 min at 550° C. The Teq value of the ALD silicon-nitride is determined to be 1.2±0.2 nm from the ratio of the accumulation capacitances of the silicon nitride and the SiO2 samples.
Silicon-Nitride/SiO2: An extremely-thin (0.3-0.4 nm) silicon nitride layer has been deposited on thermally grown SiO2 by an atomic-layer-deposition technique. The boron penetration through the stack gate dielectric has been dramatically suppressed and the reliability has been significantly improved. An exciting feature of no soft breakdown (SBD) events is observed in ramped voltage stressing and time-dependent dielectric breakdown (TDDB) characteristics. After the thermal growth of 2.0 to 3.0 nm thick gate oxides on a Si (001) substrates, silicon nitride layer is deposited by alternately supplying SiCl4 and NH3 gases. The SiCl4 exposure at 375° C. followed by NH3 exposure at 550° C. is cyclically repeated five times, leading to a silicon nitride thickness of 0.3-0.4 nm. The thickness of the ALD silicon nitride is confirmed to be controlled with an atomic layer level by the number of the deposition cycle.
WN: Tungsten nitride films have been deposited with the atomic layer control using sequential surface reactions. The tungsten nitride film growth is accomplished by separating the binary reaction 2WF6+NH3>W2N+3HF+9/2 F2 into two half-reactions. Successive application of the WF6 and NH3 half-reactions in an ABAB. . . . sequence produced tungsten nitride deposition at substrate temperatures between 600 and 800 K. Transmission Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy monitored the coverage of WFx * and NHy * surface species on high surface area particles during the WF6 and NH3 half-reactions. The FTIR spectroscope results demonstrated the WF6 and NH3 half-reactions are complete and self-limiting at temperatures >600 K. In situ spectroscopic ellipsometry monitored the film growth on Si(100) substrate vs. temperature and reactant exposure. A tungsten nitride deposition rate of 2.55 Å/AB cycle is measured at 600-800 K for WF6 and NH3 reactant exposure >3000 L and 10,000 L, respectively. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy depth-profiling experiments determined that the films had a W2N stoichiometry with low C and O impurity concentrations. X-ray diffraction investigations revealed that the tungsten nitride films are microcrystalline. Atomic force microscopy measurements of the deposited films observed remarkably flat surface indicating smooth film growth. These smooth tungsten nitride films deposited with atomic layer control should be used as diffusion control for Cu on contact and via holes.
AlN: Aluminum nitride (AlN) has been grown on porous silica by atomic layer chemical vapor deposition (ALCVD) from trimethylaluminum (TMA) and ammonia precursors. The ALCVD growth is based on alternating, separated, saturating reactions of the gaseous precursors with the solid substrates. TMA and ammonia are reacted at 423 and 623 Kelvin (K), respectively, on silica which has been dehydroxylated at 1023 K pretreated with ammonia at 823 K. The growth in three reaction cycles is investigated quantitatively by elemental analysis, and the surface reaction products are identified by IR and solid state and Si NMR measurements. Steady growth of about 2 aluminum atoms/nm2 silica A/reaction cycle is obtained. The growth mainly took place through (I) the reaction of TMA which resulted in surface Al—Me and Si—Me groups, and (II) the reaction of ammonia which replaced aluminium-bonded methyl groups with amino groups. Ammonia also reacted in part with the silicon-bonded methyl groups formed in the dissociated reaction of TMA with siloxane bridges. TMA reacted with the amino groups, as it did with surface silanol groups and siloxane bridges. In general, the Al—N layer interacted strongly with the silica substrates, but in the third reaction cycle AlN-type sites may have formed.
GaN: Pseudo substrates of GaN templates have been grown by MOCVD on sapphire, apart from the quantum dot samples, which are grown on bulk 6H—SiC. Prior to GaN ALE, about 400-nm-thick fully relaxed AlN layers are deposited on all substrates. The N2 flux has been fixed to 0.5 sccm and the rf power to 300 W, which leads to maximum AlN and GaN growth rates of about 270 nm/h under N-limited metal-rich conditions. The Ga flux has been calibrated by measuring the GaN growth rate under N-rich conditions using reflection high-energy electron diffraction (RHEED) oscillations at Ts=650° C., where it is safe to assume that the Ga sticking coefficient is unity.
According to the teachings of the present invention, the gate insulator structure shown in
In embodiments of the present invention, the gate structure embodiment of
According to the teachings of the present invention, embodiments of the novel transistor herein, which are substituted for the gate structures described in the references above, are programmed by grounding a source line and applying a gate voltage and a voltage to the drain to cause channel hot electron injection. To read the memory state, the drain and ground or source have the normal connections and the conductivity of the transistor determined using low voltages so as not to disturb the memory state. The devices can be erased by applying a large negative voltage to the gate.
In embodiments of the present invention, the gate structure embodiment of
Further, in embodiments of the present invention, the gate structure embodiment of
All of the above references are incorporated herein in full. The gate structure embodiment of
Conversely, if the nominal threshold voltage without the oxide-nitride nanolaminate layers charged is ½ V, then I=μCox×(W/L)×((Vgs−Vt)2/2), or 12.5 μA, with μCox=μCi=100 μA/V2 and W/L=1. That is, the transistor cell of the present invention, having the dimensions describe above will produce a current I=100 μA/V2×(¼)×(½)=12.5 μA. Thus, in the present invention an un-written, or un-programmed transistor cell can conduct a current of the order 12.5 μA, whereas if the oxide-nitride nanolaminate layers are charged then the transistor cell will not conduct. As one of ordinary skill in the art will understand upon reading this disclosure, the sense amplifiers used in DRAM arrays, and as describe above, can easily detect such differences in current on the bit lines.
By way of comparison, in a conventional DRAM with 30 femtoFarad (fF) storage capacitor 851 charged to 50 femto Columbs (fC), if these are read over 5 nS then the average current on a bit line 852 is only 10 μA (I=50 fC/5 ns=10 μA). Thus, storing a 50 fC charge on the storage capacitor equates to storing 300,000 electrons (Q=50 f/C/(1.6×10−19)=30×104=300.000 electrons).
According to the teachings of the present invention, the transistor cells, having the gate structure with oxide-nitride nanolaminate layers, in the array are utilized not just as passive on or off switches as transfer devices in DRAM arrays but rather as active devices providing gain. In the present invention, to program the transistor cell “off,” requires only a stored charge in the oxide-nitride nanolaminate layers of about 100 electrons if the area is 0.1 μm by 0.1 μm. And, if the transistor cell is un-programmed, e.g. no stored charge trapped in the oxide-nitride nanolaminate layers, and if the transistor cell is addressed over 10 nS a current of 12.5 μA is provided. The integrated drain current then has a charge of 125 fC or 800,000 electrons. This is in comparison to the charge on a DRAM capacitor of 50 fC which is only about 300,000 electrons. Hence, the use of transistor cells, having the gate structure with oxide-nitride nanolaminate layers, in the array as active devices with gain, rather than just switches, provides an amplification of the stored charge, in the oxide-nitride nanolaminate layers, from 100 to 800,000 electrons over a read address period of 10 nS.
Sample Device Applications
The column decoder 948 is connected to the sense amplifier circuit 946 via control and column select signals on column select lines 962. The sense amplifier circuit 946 receives input data destined for the memory array 942 and outputs data read from the memory array 942 over input/output (I/O) data lines 963. Data is read from the cells of the memory array 942 by activating a word line 980 (via the row decoder 944), which couples all of the memory cells corresponding to that word line to respective bit lines 960, which define the columns of the array. One or more bit lines 960 are also activated. When a particular word line 980 and bit lines 960 are activated, the sense amplifier circuit 946 connected to a bit line column detects and amplifies the conduction sensed through a given transistor cell and transferred to its bit line 960 by measuring the potential difference between the activated bit line 960 and a reference line which may be an inactive bit line. Again, in the read operation the source region of a given cell is couple to a grounded sourceline or array plate (not shown). The operation of Memory device sense amplifiers is described, for example, in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,627,785; 5,280,205; and 5,042,011, all assigned to Micron Technology Inc., and incorporated by reference herein.
The conventional logic array shown in
First logic plane 1010 includes a number of thin oxide gate transistors, e.g. transistors 1001-1, 1001-2, . . . , 1001-N. The thin oxide gate transistors, 1001-1, 1001-2, . . . , 1001-N, are located at the intersection of input lines 1012, and interconnect lines 1014. In the conventional PLA of
In this embodiment, each of the interconnect lines 1014 acts as a NOR gate for the input lines 1012 that are connected to the interconnect lines 1014 through the thin oxide gate transistors, 1001-1, 1001-2, . . . , 1001-N, of the array. For example, interconnection line 1014A acts as a NOR gate for the signals on input lines 1012A and 1012B. That is, interconnect line 1014A is maintained at a high potential unless one or more of the thin oxide gate transistors, 1001-1, 1001-2, . . . , 1001-N, that are coupled to interconnect line 1014A are turned on by a high logic level signal on one of the input lines 1012. When a control gate address is activated, through input lines 1012, each thin oxide gate transistor, e.g. transistors 1001-1, 1001-2, . . . , 1001-N, conducts which performs the NOR positive logic circuit function, an inversion of the OR circuit function results from inversion of data onto the interconnect lines 1014 through the thin oxide gate transistors, 1001-1, 1001-2, . . . , 1001-N, of the array.
As shown in
It is noted that the configuration of
First logic plane 1110 receives a number of input signals at input lines 1112. In this example, no inverters are provided for generating complements of the input signals. However, first logic plane 1110 can include inverters to produce the complementary signals when needed in a specific application.
First logic plane 1110 includes a number of driver transistors, having a gate structure with oxide-nitride nanolaminate layers, 1101-1, 1101-2, . . . , 1101-N, that form an array. The driver transistors, 1101-1, 1101-2, . . . , 1101-N, are located at the intersection of input lines 1112, and interconnect lines 1114. Not all of the driver transistors, 1101-1, 1101-2, . . . , 1101-N, are operatively conductive in the first logic plane. Rather, the driver transistors, 1101-1, 1101-2, . . . , 1101-N, are selectively programmed, as has been described herein, to respond to the input lines 1112 and change the potential of the interconnect lines 1114 so as to implement a desired logic function. This selective interconnection is referred to as programming since the logical function implemented by the programmable logic array is entered into the array by the driver transistors, 1101-1, 1101-2, . . . , 1101-N, that are used at the intersections of input lines 1112, and interconnect lines 1114 in the array.
In this embodiment, each of the interconnect lines 1114 acts as a NOR gate for the input lines 1112 that are connected to the interconnect lines 1114 through the driver transistors, 1101-1, 1101-2, . . . , 1101-N, of the array 1100. For example, interconnection line 1114A acts as a NOR gate for the signals on input lines 1112A, 1112B and 1112C. Programmability of the driver transistors, 1101-1, 1101-2, . . . , 1101-N is achieved by trapping charge carriers in potential wells in the oxide-nitride nanolaminate layers of the gate stack, as described herein. When the oxide-nitride nanolaminate layers are charged, that driver transistor, 1101-1, 1101-2, . . . , 1101-N will remain in an off state until it is reprogrammed. Applying and removing a charge to the oxide-nitride nanolaminate layers, is performed by tunneling charge into the oxide-nitride nanolaminate layers of the driver transistors, 1101-1, 1101-2, . . . , 1101-N. A driver transistors, 1101-1, 1101-2, . . . , 1101-N programmed in an off state remains in that state until the charge is removed from the oxide-nitride nanolaminate layers.
Driver transistors, 1101-1, 1101-2, . . . , 1101-N not having their corresponding gate structure with oxide-nitride nanolaminate layers charged operate in either an on state or an off state, wherein input signals received by the input lines 1112A, 1112B and 1112C determine the applicable state. If any of the input lines 1112A, 1112B and 1112C are turned on by input signals received by the input lines 1112A, 1112B and 1112C, then a ground is provided to load device transistors 1116. The load device transistors 1116 are attached to the interconnect lines 1114. The load device transistors 1116 provide a low voltage level when any one of the driver transistors, 1101-1, 1101-2, . . . , 1101-N connected to the corresponding interconnect line 1114 is activated. This performs the NOR logic circuit function, an inversion of the OR circuit function results from inversion of data onto the interconnect lines 1114 through the driver transistors, 1101-1, 1101-2, . . . , 1101-N of the array 1100. When the driver transistors, 1101-1, 1101-2, . . . , 1101-N are in an off state, an open is provided to the drain of the load device transistors 1116. The VDD voltage level is applied to corresponding input lines, e.g. the interconnect lines 1114 for second logic plane 1122 when a load device transistors 1116 is turned on by a clock signal received at the gate of the load device transistors 1116. Each of the driver transistors, 1101-1, 1101-2, . . . , 1101-N described herein are formed according to the teachings of the present, having a gate structure with oxide-nitride nanolaminate layers.
In a similar manner, second logic plane 1122 comprises a second array of driver transistors, 1102-1, 1102-2, . . . , 1102-N that are selectively programmed to provide the second level of the two level logic needed to implement a specific logical function. In this embodiment, the array of driver transistors, 1102-1, 1102-2, . . . , 1102-N is also configured such that the output lines 1120 comprise a logical NOR function of the signals from the interconnection lines 1114 that are coupled to particular output lines 1120 through the driver transistors, 1102-1, 1102-2, . . . , 1102-N of the second logic plane 1122.
Programmability of the driver transistors, 1102-1, 1102-2, . . . , 1102-N is achieved by trapping charge carriers in potential wells in the oxide-nitride nanolaminate layers of the gate stack, as described herein. When the oxide-nitride nanolaminate layers are charged, that driver transistor, 1102-1, 1102-2, . . . , 1102-N will remain in an off state until it is reprogrammed. Applying and removing a charge to the oxide-nitride nanolaminate layers are performed by tunneling charge into the oxide-nitride nanolaminate layers of the driver transistors, 1101-1, 1101-2, . . . , 1101-N. A driver transistor, e.g. 1102-1, 1102-2, . . . , 1102-N, programmed in an off state remains in that state until the charge is removed from the oxide-nitride nanolaminate layers.
Driver transistors, 1102-1, 1102-2, . . . , 1102-N not having their corresponding gate structure with oxide-nitride nanolaminate layers charged operate in either an on state or an off state, wherein signals received by the interconnect lines 1114 determine the applicable state. If any of the interconnect lines 1114 are turned on, then a ground is provided to load device transistors 1124 by applying a ground potential to the source line or conductive source plane coupled to the transistors first source/drain region as described herein. The load device transistors 1124 are attached to the output lines 1120. The load device transistors 1124 provide a low voltage level when any one of the driver transistors, 1102-1, 1102-2, . . . , 1102-N connected to the corresponding output line is activated. This performs the NOR logic circuit function, an inversion of the OR circuit function results from inversion of data onto the output lines 1120 through the driver transistors, 1102-1, 1102-2, . . . , 1102-N of the array 1100. When the driver transistors, 1102-1, 1102-2, . . . , 1102-N are in an off state, an open is provided to the drain of the load device transistors 1124. The VDD voltage level is applied to corresponding output lines 1120 for second logic plane 1122 when a load device transistor 1124 is turned on by a clock signal received at the gate of the load device transistors 1124. In this manner a NOR-NOR electrically programmable logic array is most easily implemented utilizing the normal PLA array structure. Each of the driver transistors, 1102-1, 1102-2, . . . , 1102-N described herein are formed according to the teachings of the present, having a gate structure with oxide-nitride nanolaminate layers.
The absence or presence of charge trapped in potential wells, formed by the oxide-nitride nanolaminate layers, is read by addressing the input lines 1112 or control gate lines and y-column/sourcelines to form a coincidence in address at a particular logic cell. The control gate line would for instance be driven positive at some voltage of 1.0 Volts and the y-column/sourceline grounded, if the oxide-nitride nanolaminate layers are not charged with electrons then the transistor would turn on tending to hold the interconnect line on that particular row down indicating the presence of a stored “one” in the cell. If this particular transistor cell has charge trapped in potential wells, formed by the oxide-nitride nanolaminate layers, the transistor will not turn on and the presence of a stored “zero” is indicated in the cell. In this manner, data stored on a particular transistor cell can be read.
Programming can be achieved by hot electron injection. In this case, the interconnect lines, coupled to the second source/drain region for the transistor cells in the first logic plane, are driven with a higher drain voltage like 2 Volts for 0.1 micron technology and the control gate line is addressed by some nominal voltage in the range of twice this value. Erasure is accomplished by driving the control gate line with a large positive voltage and the sourceline and/or backgate or substrate/well address line of the transistor with a negative bias so the total voltage difference is in the order of 3 Volts causing electrons to tunnel out of the oxide-nitride nanolaminate layers of the driver transistors. Writing can be performed, as also described above, by normal channel hot electron injection
One of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate upon reading this disclosure that a number of different configurations for the spatial relationship, or orientation of the input lines 1112, interconnect lines 1114, and output lines 1120 are possible.
It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that additional circuitry and control signals can be provided, and that the memory device 1200 has been simplified to help focus on the invention. In one embodiment, at least one of the transistor cells, having a gate structure with oxide-nitride nanolaminate layers in memory 1212 includes a programmed transistor cell according to the teachings of the present invention.
It will be understood that the embodiment shown in
Applications containing the novel transistor cell of the present invention as described in this disclosure include electronic systems for use in memory modules, device drivers, power modules, communication modems, processor modules, and application-specific modules, and may include multilayer, multichip modules. Such circuitry can further be a subcomponent of a variety of electronic systems, such as a clock, a television, a cell phone, a personal computer, an automobile, an industrial control system, an aircraft, and others.
This disclosure describes the use of oxide-nitride nanolaminate layers with charge trapping in potential wells formed by the different electron affinities of the insulator layers. The disclosure describes the fabrication by atomic layer deposition, ALD, and use of oxide-nitride-oxide nanolaminates. In embodiments of the invention, these nitride material are of the order of 4 nanometers in thickness, with a range of 1 to 10 nm. The compositions of these materials are adjusted so as that they have an electron affinity less than silicon oxide which is 4.1 eV, resulting in a positive conduction band offset. The gate insulator structure embodiments of the present invention, having silicon oxide-metal oxide-silicon oxide-nitride nanolaminates, are employed in a wide variety of different device applications.
It is to be understood that the above description is intended to be illustrative, and not restrictive. Many other embodiments will be apparent to those of skill in the art upon reviewing the above description. The scope of the invention should, therefore, be determined with reference to the appended claims, along with the full scope of equivalents to which such claims are entitled.
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|U.S. Classification||438/259, 438/261, 438/270, 438/591, 438/593|
|International Classification||H01L27/115, G11C16/04, G11C11/56, H01L29/792, H01L21/336, H01L21/4763|
|Cooperative Classification||G11C16/0416, H01L29/792, H01L27/115, H01L27/11568, G11C11/5671|
|European Classification||H01L29/792, G11C11/56M, H01L27/115, H01L27/115G4|
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